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Itron Security Manager

A new era of smart metering promises many exciting benefits, but comes with the imperatives of increased security and privacy protections. Automated meter reading solutions rely on communications systems to transmit metering data, which could leave critical information open to theft and manipulation. An added concern, today’s smart meters and endpoints have command interfaces that could be vulnerable to unauthorized reconfiguration and tampering, such as remote service disconnects at the customer premise. Lastly, as meter reading technology relies progressively more on networks, it could increasingly be the target of cyber attacks.

The Itron Security Manager (ISM) enables secure communications and data privacy between endpoints and authorized data collection systems. Based on industry-standard encryption technology, ISM employs cryptography to authenticate and encrypt two-way communications, providing the data confidentiality, integrity and authenticity critical for system security.

Beyond cryptographic functions, the ISM acts as the centralized key manager. First, it manages the security keys, security state and security level for each of the endpoints. Second, ISM manages the import and export of security key files. If an endpoint security level is changed, ISM will generate additional keys for meter reading applications to update devices in the field. Third, ISM allows keys to be updated, as required by the utility’s security policies, thus mitigating the risk of data theft and manipulation.

In addition to managing security keys, the ISM provides core system administration, such as creating accounts and roles, as well as assigning permissions. The administrative controls are used to lock down access and grant privileges only to personnel and data collection applications requiring ISM services.

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